The University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community will offer an online graduate course in end of life issues during the Fall 2014 semester. Students not enrolled in a degree program through CAC may take this course as a guest student (fees still apply). UIndy undergraduate students who are at Junior or Senior level with a GPA of 3.5 or better may enroll in these courses with permission from their advisor.
GERO 580: Special Topics in End of Life Issues will engage students in exploring the complex issues of end of life care from the perspectives of both the individual person at end of life and the social systems that influence end of life care. Students will discover how legal, ethical, economic, and competing personal considerations within families all shape end of life decisions.
This course addresses critical issues that people experience at end of life. These include everything from the process of completing an Advance Directive for Healthcare Decisions long before one enters the dying process to the experience of living through the dying process itself. Students will explore the following topics and examine the issues within them:
- Quality of life for the person at the end of life. This includes having the conversations about advance directives for healthcare decisions, managing pain and other disease-related symptoms, and meeting a person’s emotional, spiritual and psychological needs at the end of life.
- Health and support services at end of life, including hospice and palliative care services for people at the end of life and their families.
- Ethical considerations in making end of life decisions such as examining the role of competing values and interests, both in the family and in the healthcare/medical systems.
- Legal considerations in making end of life decisions: society’s role in end of life decisions.
- Issues in end of life care for people with special needs including people who are homeless, people with dementia, and ethnic minority elders.
- The public health impact of end of life issues.
The goal of this course is for students to examine the complexity of issues within these topics and understand how differing perspectives inform decisions at the individual, societal, and healthcare system levels.
GERO 580: Special Topics in End of Life Issues will be conducted online from August 25 through October 19. The instructor is Rev. Alice Scannell, PhD.